A Syrian man who has been a refugee in the Netherlands since 2014 should be jailed for 27 years for his role in the killing of a Syrian army officer, the Dutch public prosecution service said on Friday.
Ahmad al K has also been charged with leading a terrorist organisation, hence the severity of the sentencing demand.
Al K fled to the Netherlands after deserting Assad’s army but is now suspected of having a leadership role in a group allied to Jabhat al-Nusra in between the two events.
Key to the trial is a nine-minute video which was shown in court and which depicts how the injured soldier was taken to the banks of the Euphrates river by jeep and shot at least 26 times.
Al K told the court that he was been forced into joining the killing and had deliberately missed the victim. But the public prosecution department says the video evidence shows he hit the soldier at least once.
Al K was arrested in Kapelle in Zeeland in 2019, after his name turned up in a German investigation. The arrest was a shock in the locality as Al K was known as a friendly man who played football at the local club and went to the village church.
Resistance against Assad’s regime is legitimate, ‘but not in the way this happened,’ the Telegraaf quoted the prosecutor as telling the court. ‘The motive here was revenge because he … served in Assad’s army, which Ahmad al-K had been part of not so long before.’
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